Book Review: Develop A Child’s Inner Geek

Zita The Space Girl - V 1

Zita The Space Girl – V 1


I don’t say this lightly – I consider this book to be hands down the best.graphic.novel.ever. (for girls and boys ages 5-8).

The book is Zita The SpaceGirl and from the minute any child picks it up, they will be sucked in. I credit this book with converting my 6 year old from a kid that saw reading as an intensive task into an insatiable reader. The book combines fantastic illustration, a compelling story and quirky characters. Oh and I almost forgot – and the hero is a girl who saves the day.

Here’s the gist:

Curiosity gets Zita and her sidekick, Joseph, in more than a little trouble. In fact, it gets them zapped all the way across the universe (not a great day for Z and J). What do they do? Zita must band together with a bunch of strange creatures to save Joseph from DEATH. Author Ben Hatke writes an old-school sci-fi adventure that is exciting enough to read in one sitting and engaging enough for at least my kid to keep coming back for more.

Recommended for Moms / Aunts / Uncles who want to get a child on the path to reading or introduce science fiction and appear completely dialed in with geek culture  (it’s cool now).

News flash: Literature is good! 4 games to get kids reading

Literature makes you smart?Is anyone surprised by the news that Literature makes you smarter?

No? Good – in the spirit of not belaboring the obvious (smart people tend to read big, heavy books, right?) here’s a list of toys / games that help promote language / reading skills.

The list comes from some of my favorite specialty toy stores around the country as well as Sherry Y Artemenko a noted Speech Language Pathologist, Writer, and Toy Consultant. Wow – Toy Consultant???




For kids 10 months and up – Hape’s At the Farm wooden first reader is the bomb. This sturdy book stands up to a baby’s uh, amorous treatment of books and includes lively illustrations drawn in bold water based paint. Caregivers can share language as they describe the images – “the pink pig standing in the brown mud” or “The white woolly sheep eating green grass”. Alternate corners of the outside pages stick out, making it easy for little fingers or a child with special needs to manipulate.


For ages 3 and Up – Innovative Kids’ 26 alphabet books from A to Z are perfect for developing the relationship between letters and the sounds they make). Each book focuses on a different letter of the alphabet with activities to enhance learning. The backs of the books double as flashcards. Stickers and a parent guide are included.
Looking for a game to entice your preschooler? Look no further than Ukloo, a treasure hunt game that tricks kids into reading (bwahaha!) while they search for hidden clues around your house. They’ll be having so much fun they won’t even realize they’re learning! Plus it gives you a little freedom – so schedule a little time for yourself and let your kids go nuts.
Imagine this sentence, ’The furry little banana jumped over a firefighter.’ Hooked? I thought so. So will your 4-7 year old with DK Silly Sentences and Very Silly Sentences. Full-color photos and bold graphics plus traditional and original, specially created games make these the playthings children will return to again and again. Helps develop basic reading, sentence structure, grammar, and use of punctuation. What more could you ask for?
Personally, I look at the pronunciation and spelling of certain words in the English language (threw / through, light / white, etc) and I break into a sweat when I think about trying to explain it to my child. These books / games will ease the burden and hopefully prepare your child to take on great literature down the line.
Oh, and if you want to read more about the study that proves Literature is good for your brain, check it out, here: